Researcher Secures $15.88 Million From CDC to Study Viral Infection Surveillance

Jeffrey Kline, MD, professor and associate chair of Research for the Department of Emergency Medicine. Courtesy of Wayne State University

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded $15.88 million to the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine to be the epicenter of a national study on viral infections that present in emergency departments across the county.

The project, “Enhancing U.S. Surveillance of Laboratory Confirmed SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, and Other Respiratory Viruses through a Network of Emergency Departments,” will continue for three years.

Jeffrey Kline, MD, professor and associate chair of research for the Department of Emergency Medicine, is the overall principal investigator on the project, which will spread to emergency departments in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and 100 hospitals for surveillance of viral infections. Data will be obtained from the electronic medical records at the participating hospital systems. Each participating system will receive a portion of the $15.88 million and will have an on-site principal investigator.

The project will run now through August 2024. "If we are successful at the end of year three, we hope for this to be renewed for years to come," Kline said.

The study is based on the Registry of suspected COVID-19 in Emergency Care, or RECOVER, a large clinical registry of patients from 155 emergency departments in 27 states tested for SARS-CoV-2 from March to September 2020, which Kline founded.

This study network will be known as RECOVER-CDC.

Patients will be identified based upon their reason, or chief complaint, for visiting the emergency department.

“We will report data on patients who have chief complaints suggestive of viral syndromes, including but not limited to cough, fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nasal congestion and respiratory distress,” Kline said. “We will then determine how many are being tested for SARS-CoV-2, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and other viruses as part of usual care and, importantly, their vaccination status. We will then follow the patients to determine if they are admitted to the hospital or not, and their outcomes and diagnoses within 30 days.”

The researchers aim to determine the frequency of testing symptomatic patients for viral infections, the results of those tests, the outcomes and diagnoses of patients with known or suspected viral infections, and the associations of outcomes with vaccine status.

“We will have many other questions. For example, of key interest for my own research is the association of viral infections with the diagnosis of blood clots,” Kline said.

Source: Wayne State University